The TGA announced today that total medical cannabis approvals had hit 100,000 with 9959 being recorded for March 2021.
This is a new high (pardon the pun) for the TGA, but needs to be looked at a little closer if it is to be understood properly.
An approval is not a prescription.
An approval is necessary for a specific unapproved medicine that is to be prescribed under SAS Category B.
One example where numbers are not directly representative would be a patient who gets approved by the TGA for one type of product.
If that patient can't obtain the medicine listed in the prescription they have been approved for, they need to go back to their prescribing doctor, and get another prescription and another approval from the TGA.
This means they now have 2 approvals but no cannabis medicine has yet been dispensed to the patient.
While this may seem a far fetched situation, it has been something that is happening to a large number of people as the flower products they were prescribed, were simply unavailable.